NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Global index provider MSCI Inc <MSCI.N> is seeking feedback from market participants on whether to add Chinese shares to a widely tracked index, a move which could trigger billions of dollars in capital inflows into mainland stocks and ease pressure on its yuan currency.
MSCI did not add Chinese shares to its Emerging Markets Index, for a third year running in 2016, citing concerns over share suspension rules and monthly limits on repatriating capital..
The emerging index is tracked by $1.6 trillion in global assets.
In a 15-slide presentation posted on its website, MSCI highlighted the concerns raised last year, the steps China has taken to address those questions and key discussion points posed to investors. https://www.msci.com/index-consultations
China has removed quota limits on its landmark stock connect programs between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, and reduced the number of shares which are suspended to levels seen before a market crash in mid-2015.
Hong Kong and China shares pulled off lows on expectations that the new proposals, which would include large-cap stocks but exclude dual-listed shares among others, would be more acceptable to global investors.[.SS][.HK]
If the proposed new rules are applied, the number of Chinese stocks that would have to be included would drop dramatically by two-thirds to 169 stocks leading to a sharp drop in market turnover, a crucial source of costs for passive funds.
MSCI will also take a decision on whether to reclassify the Argentina index as an emerging markets index. The country has been classified as a frontier market since 2009.
(Reporting by Dion Rabouin in NEW YORK and Saikat Chatterjee in HONG KONG; Editing by Kim Coghill)